The two teams either side of the top four meet in the Big Bash League match on Friday when the defending champions Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Stars at the Adelaide Oval, in a contest in which the winners will remain in the qualifying zone.
Whoever loses this match will drop away from the top four so this is a pretty big game in the campaign of both teams, which should ensure a good deal of competitiveness about the encounter and hopefully some quality too.
The Strikers have been incredibly hit and miss this season with three wins and three defeats but at no time have they really looked like a side in complete control of what they are doing. Their batting has been a concern throughout the tournament and they are either excellent or awful and rarely much in between which is more than a worry.
It shouldn’t be the concern that it is when you consider the quality of their bowling attack. In saying that, their bowlers have failed to defend three totals although in fairness to them one of them was only 88 and that is impossible to defend. If they can find their bating mojo though there is no reason why they can’t go on a series of wins.
It has been something of an up and down campaign for the Melbourne Stars. They lost their first two matches then went on a three match winning spree, which was ended last time out by the Perth Scorchers, which will have been a disappointing defeat given the struggles of the former champions, although Perth did get the Stars at a good time.
What will have disappointed the Stars in the previous match is that even though they put up a fair total they bowled terribly and never really looked like defending it, despite playing against one of the struggling batting line ups in the competition. That was the first time in some four matches that they bowled sloppily so they will be hoping it is purely a reminder not to take their foot off the gas.
Adelaide Strikers have their captain Travis Head back for this match now that his Test duties are over. They will have to do without Alex Carey though as he is on international duty. Ben Laughlin and Harry Nielsen come in with Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake both away with Australia.
Melbourne Stars remain without their own international trio of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa and have made just the one change to their squad, which sees Lance Morris coming in for Tom O’Connell.
With all the changes to both sides for the next week or so I don’t really want to be chasing bets in the match betting, at least until sides settle down a little again, so I’m going to leave the match betting alone and head to a different market. The one I’m interested in comes in the form of the player performances.
It is the line of 38.5 for Dwayne Bravo which interests me the most. He has taken two or more wickets in three of his last four matches and that will be more than enough to cover this line but he’ll bat a little higher with all the absences and he is an amazing fielder so he is always going to be in the game, which makes me think this line is a touch on the low side. Given that, I’m happy to be on the over here.
Back D.Bravo’s Performance – Over 38.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365